"Surely, I was scared and sad that she had to be hooked up to tubes and wires, rather than in my belly, but I was filled with so much love for her. Love is the main thing I felt," she said.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on February 28, 2020, and has since been updated.
A young mom from Athens was left shocked and scared when she was informed that she was pregnant with quadruplets. Tori Keller, 19 (at that time) and fiancé Tyler Hallman, 20 (at that time) were forced to embark on a journey full of emotional and physical distress and the couple showed unparalleled courage.
According to Mail Online, Tori's journey of motherhood turned even more heartbreaking and painful when she lost three of her unborn babies one by one. But she carried all of them in her womb full-term to give life to the last surviving baby, her daughter.
"Finding out I was pregnant with quads was shocking, to say the least. I thought the doctor was joking when he told me. I honestly didn't truly believe it until I was able to see the actual ultrasound," Tori revealed. To make matters worse, Tori started falling sick and gradually, after a few scans over a period of time, the doctors informed that she has, unfortunately, lost three of her babies.
The young parents first lost baby D and then B and C. "I had some pains in my side, but I was told that it was round ligament pains because my uterus was growing at such a fast rate. I was worried and scared. I'm honestly not super religious, but I prayed. I prayed every day until my next appointment," the now 23-year-old recounted.
She was then informed by the doctors that she will have to carry all the babies in order to bring the surviving baby into the world. The courageous young mother, though she was in pain, went through the process so she could bring her child into the world. "I was monitored very closely after losing baby B and C: cervix checks, very intricate ultrasounds, fluid samples, blood samples. And then, of course, I was admitted into the hospital at twenty-one weeks for closer monitoring and strict bed rest."
"It was nerve-racking and honestly kind of humiliating. I hated not being able to move around. I really hated not being able to use an actual bathroom. That's something I will never take for granted. I hated being monitored all the time. I like my privacy," she explained.
At 23 weeks of pregnancy, Tori went into labor and had a C-section to give birth to their delicate daughter, Athena. Athena weighed just 1 lb. 5 oz. and was 12 inches long at the time. "Seeing Athena for the first time was unreal. Of course, I never wanted to see her like that, but it truly is an amazing thing to see a baby that small," said Tori.
Today, the miracle baby Athena, who is the sweetest reward of her young mommy's struggles, is a three-year-old toddler who is doted by her parents. "Surely, I was scared and sad that she had to be hooked up to tubes and wires, rather than in my belly, but I was filled with so much love for her. Love is the main thing I felt," Tori wrote for Love What Matters.
The pain Tori had to go through could probably fill anyone with negative emotions, but the mom-of-two (she gave birth to son Zachariah later) called Athena her hero and the miracle that saved her life. She also shared a message for parents who have lost a child and implored them to stay strong.
She said, "For anyone who has a micro-preemie, they can get through it. For anyone struggling with child loss, you can get through it. Having a micro-preemie taught me so much. It taught me to appreciate every small detail and to be patient. Athena taught me how to be strong. She taught me how to get through the dark times. She saved me. She’s my hero, and she doesn’t even know it."